Branding strategies are widely recognized nowadays as crucial for business success, resulting in companies investing great sums of money into building their brand awareness. Still, branding efforts are mostly focused on an external audience, with an idea of crafting meaningful and consistent relationships with potential clients and customers.
On the other side, internal branding rarely gets any attention although it plays a significant role in the overall positioning of your brand. Employees are often overlooked even though they are your most valuable resource. If internal branding is done right, your employees can be your most fervent brand advocates. Otherwise, your branding efforts might be compromised by a workforce who doesn’t share the core values and tone of your brand or just don’t believe in what they are selling.
Here are 4 ways you can improve your internal branding and make it consistent.
Make your values and mission clear
According to relevant research, 64% of consumers form connections with brands because they share the same values. Making such an intangible asset present in each and every interaction of your brand and your prospects would be impossible unless your employees are your true brand representatives.
Your brand has a set of values which defines its identity, as well as your company’s mission, while your employees should have a clear insight into the role they play in your brand’s visibility. The consistent brand presentation across all platforms boosts your company’s revenue for 23%, so knowing how to ensure your brand’s consistency through their everyday work tasks, should be a part of every onboarding training. Also, when possible, shared values should be considered when hiring new employees, as well as recognizing brand fans who can add extra value to your team. To make sure your brand ideas are rooted deeply in your company, you need to know that your every employee understands them and acts respectively.
Engage your employees
Engaged employees are your greatest treasure, as they will strengthen and make your brand more visible through daily on and off-job interactions. Along with their engagement, their overall job satisfaction increases, so they are more likely to stay with your company and attract top talent enthusiastic both about their job and your brand.
There are many ways you can boost your employees’ engagement:
- various team building activities,
- mentorship programs,
- reward and recognition programs,
- a yearly e-learning course about your brand
- focus groups, surveys, etc.
Naturally, when monitoring your employee engagement, you will be able to recognize your true brand ambassadors, those who identify with your brand and are dedicated to your mission. Those are the employees whom you can consider assigning internal branding tasks to, as they can be the leaders who inspire others.
Recognize and reward
Brand values and behaviour standards should be reinforced continuously until they’ve become a habit. The best way to motivate your employees is to recognize their daily efforts and their progress and to adequately reward them. You can organize a monthly contest for promoting brand values, for example. You will get a massive boost in your employee engagement when they are nominating their colleagues for a reward while doing their best to win themselves.
While rewards can come in many different shapes, you can choose the ones which will make your internal brand bond even stronger – branded prizes. These can take the form of attractive personalised mugs or whatever other branded product your employee would value and wholeheartedly enjoy using. At the same time, the reward will be a constant reminder of your brand values.
You have to practice what you preach
Your brand will hardly be consistent if the company itself doesn’t act consistently. Your company’s choices need to reflect your brand values, too, or they will create confusion among both your employees and your prospects. Employees will hardly trust the brand of a vegan company serving meat on their benefit parties and be comfortable when selling their products to vegans.
Your company’s leadership practices should be exemplary to your employees and reflect your brand core values in their daily activities, too. This way, they will be role models to your other employees, someone they can look up to when in doubt.
For your business to be successful, you need to strengthen both your external and internal branding efforts, as your employees are one of your most valuable resources. You should make your values and mission clear to your employees, from the recruiting of your employees, through the on boarding process. Make sure to engage your employees with your brand constantly. Also, make sure to recognize the daily efforts of your employees to promote your brand values and brand’s standards and reward them accordingly. This way, your brand will be consistent in all its interactions, resulting in various rewards for your company, such as brand advocacy, higher revenue and return rates, as well as high retention rates.